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UVa to conduct external review of flawed investigation of alleged shooter

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The University of Virginia will conduct an external review of its investigation of suspected gunman Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., school President Jim Ryan said Wednesday night in a video message. A day earlier, a spokesperson for UVa said the school never reported Jones's case to the school's judiciary committee.

In September, a student told the university Jones had talked about owning a gun. UVa subsequently learned that he had pleaded guilty to a concealed weapons violation in Chesterfield County and received a suspended sentence. 

20221115_MET_UVA

Students and community members gather for a candlelight vigil after a shooting that left three students dead on Monday, November 14, 2022 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

While UVa attempted to speak with him, he refused to cooperate with the investigation, school officials said. The school never elevated the case to its student-run judiciary committee, a spokesperson said Tuesday. It's unclear why. 

"We are inviting an external review with respect to the university's interactions with the suspect and whether we did all we could to prevent or avoid this tragedy," Ryan said. "This will likely take a while, but we will share and act upon what we ultimately learn." 

Sunday's shooting left three students dead – Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler and D'Sean Perry – and injured two others, Mike Hollins and Marlee Morgan. 

A memorial service will occur Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena in place of the football game, which UVa canceled Wednesday. 

The event is open to all visitors and will be live streamed. The university has offered support and counseling to students, many of whom were forced to shelter in place for 12 hours while the gunman was at large. Additional help was offered to the students on the bus where the shooting took place and those associated with the victims.

Ryan said it's likely the community will never learn one single cause for the shooting. 

"It may also be that we never truly understand why this happened," Ryan said. "But what we learn, we will share."

UVa resumed class Wednesday after they were canceled Monday and Tuesday. 

ekolenich@timesdispatch.com

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Twitter: @EricKolenich

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